Resorts World New York Casino patrons will have an additional layer of security as they come and go on the trains to South Ozone Park in the form of city transit police officers who will patrol the Aqueduct Racetrack and Aqueduct/North Conduit stations.
Capt. Roy Kaplan, commanding officer of Transit District 23, told members of the 106th Precinct Community Council at their meeting last week in Ozone Park that once the casino opens by the end of summer, he will direct resources to the local train stations and the surrounding area.
Transit District 23 covers the following A Line stations within the 106th Precinct: 80th Street/Liberty Avenue, 88th Street/Liberty Avenue, Rockaway Boulevard/Liberty Avenue, 104th Street/Liberty Avenue, 111th Street/Liberty Avenue, Lefferts Blvd/117th Street, Aqueduct/North Conduit Avenue and Howard Beach/JFK Airport.
Kaplan said he normally works hand-in-hand with Capt. Thomas Pascale, the commanding officer of the 106th Precinct and will be working jointly with Pascale to coordinate security in the neighborhood surrounding the casino.
He said that the busiest station near the casino is the Aqueduct/North Conduit station since most people now use it to commute to Manhattan.
However, when the casino opens its 8 a.m. to 4 a.m. operation, the now little-used Aqueduct Racetrack station, with its soon-to-be constructed climate controlled skyway bridge linking the subway station directly to the casino entrance, is expected to be used by a majority of the casino patrons who commute there by train.
Kaplan said he will have officers at the Aqueduct Racetrack station around the clock and especially during the hours that the casino is operating to insure the safety of the passengers.
The captain said he will also have extra patrols on the trains going in and out of the Aqueduct station since some passengers may have consumed too much alcohol and may fall prey to criminals looking to steal their valuables as they sleep.
The MTA technically considers the Aqueduct Racetrack station a part of the Aqueduct/North Conduit Avenue station, which is one block south. A small passageway connects the two stations.
The Aqueduct Racetrack station is currently only open for Manhattan bound A trains.
In response to a question from a resident about whether additional officers were being assigned from One Police Plaza to Transit District 23, Kaplan said that currently no additional police officers are expected to be assigned from police headquarters.
However, he said he will request retaining some of the officers that were assigned to him for the summer detail for Rockaway. He said that after the beach season ends, the concerns go to the casino that is opening up.
“Even if I don’t get anymore police officers in District 23 I can reassure you that the officers that I have will be redeployed to take on this new concern that we will have at the casino,” said Kaplan.